Just as Nixon’s impeachment began with the Watergate hearings and Clinton’s with the Starr investigation, impeachment of Bush and Cheney needs an investigation to convince a majority of House members to want to impeach. Former House Judiciary Committee member Liz Holtzman helped get Nixon out of office and co-authored the Special Prosecutor law. This may be the road to impeachment. Read on:
NEW YORK, Aug. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman served on the House Judiciary Committee during Nixon’s impeachment. She co-authored the 1973 special prosecutor statute, and co-wrote (with Cynthia L. Cooper) the 2006 book The Impeachment of George W. Bush (http://www.impeachbushbook.com). She made the following statement today:
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has given us the worst, most lawless Justice Department since John Mitchell. Like Mitchell, who authorized the Watergate burglary and lied about it, Gonzales has earned his reputation as a staunchest of Bush loyalists, whose loyal services have seriously compromised the Department and may have included criminal activity: possible perjury before the Senate and other possible violations of law connected to the firing of US Attorneys, torture and mistreatment of detainees, warrantless wiretapping programs and other serious matters.
It appears the Senate Judiciary will have an opportunity to confirm a new nominee to replace the Attorney General. It can and should require as a condition of confirmation that a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate possible crimes and abuses of power during Attorney General Gonzales‘ tenure.
There is ample precedent for the Senate Judiciary Committee to impose such conditions. In 1973, when John Mitchell’s successor as Attorney General Richard Kleindienst in turn stepped down amid Watergate scandals, the new nominee Elliott Richardson was brought before the committee for confirmation. The Committee agreed to confirm him on the condition a special prosecutor be appointed. On taking office, Attorney General Richardson duly appointed Archibald Cox to the position, whose investigations and summary dismissal ultimately resulted in President Nixon’s resignation.
While the United States needs to find and confirm a new Attorney General in a timely way, and would do well to choose someone who can restore a measure of confidence in the Justice Department, we cannot afford to simply “move on” from the debacles of the Gonzales era. Confirmation hearings will once again give the Senate the power to demand a special prosecutor be appointed to bring abuse of power and possible criminal activity into the light of public scrutiny. After suffering from the damage Attorney General Gonzales’ tenure has inflicted on our chief law enforcement agency, the American people need and deserve nothing less.
SOURCE Former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman